School of Music

Certificate Programs

Certificate of Advanced Performance Studies

Educational Objectives

The Certificate of Advanced Performance Studies (CAPS) is a highly focused one-year program that provides concentrated training and performance experiences for post-baccalaureate students who demonstrate superior performance ability. It may serve as a preparatory program in performance for graduate study, a performing career, or as a concentrated post-graduate program for those not desiring an additional degree. It may be obtained in the following areas of emphasis: cello, clarinet, double bass, flute, guitar, horn, jazz studies, oboe, organ, percussion, piano, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, tuba, viola, violin, voice.

Admission standards, entrance requirements and retention standards

  • Admission to the Certificate in Advanced Performance Studies is according to standards established by the National Association of Schools of Music and requires a bachelor of music degree or its equivalent.
  • All applicants must have an earned baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in music from an accredited college or university. Applicants have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in previous university-level coursework.
  • Applicants living in the United States must complete a live audition and interview; international applicants may send an audio recording, although a campus audition is preferable.
  • Applicants must complete the School of Music Graduate Music Theory/Music History diagnostic exam.
  • In addition to the taped or live audition, International Applicants with ESL (English as a second language) have the following admission requirements:
    1. English writing sample (essay or other substantial paper)
    2. Music theory/history diagnostic exam (mailed or faxed)
    3. Recommendations
    4. Concert programs demonstrating a record of successful public performance in the principal applied medium
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 must be earned for all courses required in the CAPS program. Those earning grades lower than a "B" for any required course must repeat the course; two grades of a "C" or lower will terminate the student's program.
  • Students may enroll as either full or part-time.
  • Those pursuing non-degree work such as the CAPS program do not qualify for financial aid or graduate assistantships.
  • Students must complete all CAPS requirements within two calendar years of beginning the program. College, school, and department petitions for time extensions for completion of the program will be reviewed and acted upon by the Administrative Board of the Graduate School.

Course sequence required for completion of certificate

The certificate requires sixteen s.h.; 1 recital s.h., 6 s.h. of applied music in principal area, 2 s.h. of graduate ensembles (may be replaced with a second recital), 6 s.h. of advanced coursework in music history, music theory, pedagogy, and/or music technology (must include courses from two of the four areas). All courses must be approved by the program advisor.


See the graduate catalog.


Organ majors must successfully present two public recitals, one demonstrating a thorough understanding of performance practice concepts relating to pre-Classical repertoire, the other an understanding of Romantic and Contemporary repertoire and techniques. Each recital must be performed on period-specific instruments.